The Bohras

See also the page of Bohra links and a page by Progressive Dawoodi Bohras.

Language: Gujarati, Religion: Shia Muslim, Estimated population: ?.

The Bohras are a Shiite sect of Gujarati speaking Muslims, descended from eleventh century Hindu converts. Largely engaged in small businesses, the largest section of Bohras live in Bombay. The religious head of the sect is called the Sayyedna.

The Bohras migrated to Bombay fairly early and established themselves as itinerant peddlers, who would buy up all kinds of knick-knacks at auctions. By the mid nineteenth century, the coming of fancy shops pushed them out of this business, and they moved on to other things. Some went into retailing foodstuffs, mainly meat; but the majority of the surviving small businesses are in hardware. The northern end of the fort, near the present day general post office is still called Bora Bazaar, after the large numbers of Bohras who set up shops here.

In the later part of the nineteenth century, some Bohra families could be counted among the richest in Bombay. Among these were the Tyebjees and the Nooroodins. The latter made their money in the China trade. With increasing wealth, some Bohras moved out of business and into other professions, just as some Parsis did at the same time. For example, Badruddin Tyebjee became a High Court Judge towards the end of the nineteenth century.

© Copyright and disclaimer. Created on Apr 29, 1996; last updated Jan 31, 1999.